There has been so many theories, where pizza originated. The word pizza was documented in 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy, and with great success in central and southern parts of Italy. the most successful one was the focaccia, a flat bread known to the Romans, as `panis focacius’ to which toppings were added.
The common belief is that the Italians invented pizza, but its origin, goes back to the middle east, that is where it originated from, being flat bread, they would cook it in the mud ovens. Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians, Armenians, Greeks, Romans. The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, would eat the bread topped up with olive oil and native spices, that’s is where the focaccia that is so famous today, was originated. The word pizza is still uncertain, as it is known for Italian pie, and could have originated from the Latin word pix `pitch’ or Greek word pitta.
The innovation that led to flat bread pizza was the use of tomato as a topping. Did you know that the tomato was brought to Europe by the Americans, in the 16th century, it was believed by many Europeans as poisonous, really funny, as us Italians are so well known for our tomatoes, and `tomato day,’ (pommadoro) the Neapolitans added tomato to their flat bread, and so the pizza began, it was so popular, and soon became a tourist attraction as visitors ventured into the poorer area of Naples to try this simple delicacy that still today, the amount of tourists that visit Naples, I am amazed.
Around the early 1800’s pizza was sold from open air stands, and out of pizza bakeries, pizzerias kept this old tradition alive still today, in Naples it is still possible to enjoy a paper wrapped pizza and a drink sold from the open air stands, you can get deep fried pizza from the street stands. Antica Pizzeria in Port`Alba in Naples is still regarded as the city’s first pizzeria, may I say, one of the many beautiful `street food’ of Italy.
Their are two original pizzas that are still today the most popular, all over the world. The famous tale of the `Margherita’, pizza, which was famous by the baker Raffaele Esposito, who worked at Pizzeria di Pietro, established in 1880, he made it for Queen Margherita and named the pizza after her, with the colours of the Italian flag, mozzarella cheese, the tomato (pommadoro), and the fresh basil (basilico).
Then there is the famous `Marinara’, the tale says that the meaning of `la marinara’ means the seaman’s wife, for her seafaring husband when he returned from his fishing trips from the Bay of Naples she would make it with what he had caught.
In Naples the pizza’s are soft and pliable, where in Rome they prefer a thin and crispy base. There are so many different types of pizza shapes all over Italy/Sicily, each region makes the pizza with their own produce that grows in their area, in Sicily we have the spinccione, which is a thick base in a rectangular tray, and is sold by the weight, in Italy it is called `pizza al taglio’ different names but the same.
It has come a long way since it originated, it to is timeless, and a time traveller and is such a pleasure to eat, that you can eat it with almost anything that you desire, it changes, for the persons palate, the vegetarian, seafood, cheese, the carnivore can put as much meat on it as they like, with different sauces, it has become so versatile, that everyone has tasted it and loved it.
You can eat it with a seasonal salad, with vegetables, with chips, it is such a delicious meal and also nutritional.
You can cook it on the pizza stone, in the oven, (god forbid) our ancestors saw you cook it in the microwave, they would die! on the BBQ, in the wood fired oven, on the gas plate. I believe she was made by a woman, because she is versatile!
Here at `Sorrento Trattoria’ we love our pizza, we have so many different types of pizzas.
Would you like to place your order now, or better more come and be served by our wonderful staff!
I would love to see you in my restaurant! Ciao! Chef Carmela D’Amore